Homemade soft pretzels and cheese dip (new recipe)

I've tried so many homemade pretzel recipes.

At first, I thought I'd go for a non-boiled version, since that's easier. If they still tasted like pretzels, then why bother with boiling them?

Well, the ones I've made that aren't boiled tasted pretty good but tasted a lot more like soft bread sticks than a soft pretzel. (And in my experience, boiling is such a simple step for the amazing texture and flavor it imparts to both pretzels and bagels, it's completely worth the extra pot to wash.)

I've also experimented with whole wheat soft pretzels. Using white whole wheat bread flour (made from hard white wheat berries in my grain mill) and adding some natural dough conditioners, the whole wheat pretzels were good, and had a very good texture... but lacked that really-good-just-not-really-healthy flavor of a white soft pretzel dipped in cheese. ;)

My conclusion? When I take the time to make homemade soft pretzels, I'm going to boil them and I'm going to use white bread flour. For something that's such a special treat, I'm not going to worry about making them super healthy!

The kids love playing with pretzel dough and making their own "baby pretzels". With my oversight, Yehoshua (7) is able to form, boil, and bake his own pretzels. Eliyahu (5) and Ruth (3) had my assistance for theirs, and Moshe (almost 2) ate his dough raw. ;)

For dipping, I love Joshua's homemade cheese sauce. But really, these pretzels are so good we don't even feel like we need a dip for them! :)

Comments

We grew up around the corner from a great soft pretzle place. Being 3 hours away we have started making our own as well. I always do the dough in the bread maker and then roll them out by hand. Your recipe is very similar to ours. The pretzle place at home wraps the dough around a bratwurst or hot dog before they cook it and that's such a yummy lunch. We've tried doing that with mixed success. We haven't been able to get the bratwurst the right amount of cooked exactly before we bake the pretzle, but it's so much fun trying!

Thanks for the pretzle reminder, I think some would be a great treat for new years eve :)

I can't wait to try these. I'm 16 weeks pregnant and I think I'm going to have to make these w/ the cheese sauce this weekend.

Wow Tammy! Not even five minutes ago did we finish up my homemade pretzels.
The result was okay, I didn't boil them and the response I got was that they "tasted like salty, buttery bread". Next time I will try your recipe and hope for better results!

Made the pretzels and cheese sauce today and theytaste great!

When I was in German Club in high school, I was given a very similar recipe. At the time, coarse salt was hard to find; we discovered that using margarita salt (which we only buy for pretzels!) works great. I haven't made pretzels in years but now I think I might have to! Thanks for reminding me of a forgotten recipe.

I am so lucky I even got a half of one of these! My family swarmed around them and in a blink they were gone. Next time, I am going to triple the batch. Yum.

These were great. They were exactly the texture I was looking for in a pretzel. Chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. Thanks!

We're having this for dinner, wrapped around Costco's beef hot dogs for the kids, and their chicken-roasted red pepper-spinach sausages for the calorie-conscious grown ups. Have you tried those?!? They aren't super cheap--but that helps with portion control! ;) I also use them sliced in lasagna and baked pasta casseroles instead of regular sausage.

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